Meander Valley mayor Craig Perkins not standing in local government elections

The Meander Valley’s pun-loving mayor Craig Perkins will announce he will not stand at the upcoming local government elections. 

After eight years at the table, the majority of those as mayor, he will take a step back to focus on his Regional Development Australia role.

It was during the Tasmania Leader’s Program in 2008 that the idea of him running was touted. 

“One of the guys who did it with me, Ted Ross, then got a job at the council and we were having lunch the Thursday before the nominations closed and he said I should run. I said ‘don’t be stupid’,” Cr Perkins said. 

“I thought about it over the weekend and two hours before the nominations closed, I thought I may as well give it go.” 

After doing just a small amount of campaigning, he was elected as councillor. It was when then-mayor Mark Shelton was elected into state parliament that the top role spiked his interest.  

“I didn’t have mayoral plans, it just happened accidentally really.” 

Cr Perkins said he did not have any major regrets, but would do some things differently if he had his time over.  

“I just hope the council is in as good shape when I leave it as it was when I got on there,” he said.  

While he said the next mayor was probably sitting around the table, he was not sure who would nominate. 

He will not rule out running at future local, state or federal levels, but has no plans to enter politics yet. 

“I’m not planning to, there is no ambition there at the moment, but then again I never planned to be mayor,” he said.  

On amalgamations, Cr Perkins welcomed the state government’s overhaul of the local government act, but said it ultimately had to be the community’s decision.

“It’s something they should be considering during that act. But one of the challenges for the Meander Valley would be who would we amalgamate with,” he said.

“The rate differential between Meander Valley and Launceston for example, is considerable and if you asked people in Prospect Vale if they wanted to pay $500 more in rates the answer would be no.” 

Cr Perkins said anyone considering entering council should not be daunted by it. 

“Local government is the closest level of government to the people and Meander Valley is a great community,” he said. 

“The engagement I have with the community members is what I’m going to miss the most.”

Cr Perkins wished to thank the staff at the council and the RDA for their support.  

“When I attended staff meetings [at the council] I always said they make me look good and they do,” he said.